Minimum loading requirements for areas of low seismicity

  • Lam, Nelson T.K. (Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne) ;
  • Tsang, Hing-Ho (Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Swinburne University of Technology) ;
  • Lumantarna, Elisa (Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne) ;
  • Wilson, John L. (Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Swinburne University of Technology)
  • Received : 2015.11.11
  • Accepted : 2016.09.27
  • Published : 2016.10.25


The rate of occurrence of intraplate earthquake events has been surveyed around the globe to ascertain the average level of intraplate seismic activities on land. Elastic response spectra corresponding to various levels of averaged (uniform) seismicity for a return period of 2475 years have then been derived along with modifying factors that can be used to infer ground motion and spectral response parameters for other return period values. Estimates derived from the assumption of uniform seismicity are intended to identify the minimum level of design seismic hazard in intraplate regions. The probabilistic seismic hazard assessment presented in the paper involved the use of ground motion models that have been developed for regions of different tectonic and crustal classifications. The proposed minimum earthquake loading model is illustrated by the case study of Peninsular Malaysia which has been identified with a minimum effective peak ground acceleration (EPGA) of 0.1 g for a return period of 2475 years, or 0.07 g for a notional return period of 475 years.


  1. Abrahamson, N. and Silva, W. (2008), "Summary of the Abrahamson & Silva NGA ground-motion relations", Earthq. Spectra, 24(1), 67-97.
  2. Abrahamson, N., Silva, W.J. and Kamai, R. (2014), "Summary of the ASK14 ground motion relation for active Crustal regions", Earthq. Spectra, 30(3), 1025-1055.
  3. Allen, T., Gibson, G., Brown, A. and Cull J. (2004), "Depth variation of seismic source scaling relations: Implications for earthquake hazard in southern California", Tectonophys., 390(1), 5-24.
  4. Allen, T., Marano, K., Earle, P.S. and Wald, D.J. (2009), "PAGER-CAT: A composite earthquake catalog for calibrating global fatality models", Seismol. Res. Lett., 80(1), 50-56.
  5. Atkinson, G.M. and Boore, D.M. (1995), "Ground motion relations for eastern North America", Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 85(1), 17-30.
  6. Atkinson, G.M. and Boore, D.M. (2014), "The attenuation of Fourier amplitudes for rock sites in eastern North America", Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 104(1), 513-528.
  7. 1.Atkinson, G.M. (2004), "Empirical attenuation of ground motion spectral amplitudes in southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States", Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 94(3), 1079-1095.
  8. Australian Standard: AS 1170.4 (2007), Structural Design Actions - Part 4 Earthquake Actions, Standards Australia.
  9. Bergman, E.A. and Solomon, S.C. (1980), "Oceanic Intraplate Earthquakes: Implications for Local and Regional Intraplate Stress", J. Geophys. Res., 85(BI0), 5389-5410.
  10. Bird, P., Kreemer, C. and Holt, W.E. (2010), "A Long-term Forecast of Shallow Seismicity based on the global strain rate map", Seismol. Res. Lett., 81(2), 184-194.
  11. Boatwright, J. and Seekins, L. (2011) "Regional spectral analysis of three moderate earthquakes in northeastern North America", Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 101(4), 1769-1782.
  12. Boore, D.M. and Joyner, W.B. (1997), "Site amplifications for generic rock sites", Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 87(2), 327-341.
  13. Boore, D.M. (2016), "Determining generic velocity and density models for crustal amplification calculations, with an update of the Boore and Joyner (1997) generic site amplification for Vs(Z) = 760m/s", Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 106(1), 316-320.
  14. Boore, D.M., Campbell, K.W. and Atkinson, G.M. (2010), "Determination of stress parameters for eight well-recorded earthquakes in eastern North America", Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 100(4), 1632-1645.
  15. Boore, D.M., Stewart, J.P., Seyhan, E. and Atkinson, G.M (2014), "NGA-West2 equations for predicting PGA, PGV, and 5% damped PSA for shallow crustal earthquakes", Earthq. Spectra, 30(3), 1057-1085.
  16. Camelbeeck, T., Vanneste, K., Alexandre, P., Verbeeck, K., Petermans, T., Rosset, P., Everaerts, M., Warnant, R. and Camp, M.V. (2007), "Relevance of active faulting and seismicity studies to assessments of long-term earthquake activity and maximum magnitude in intraplate northwest Europe", Geolog. Soc. Am. Special Papers, 425, 193-224.
  17. Campbell, K.W. and Bozorgnia, Y. (2014), "NGA-West2 Ground Motion Model for the average horizontal components of PGA, PGV, and 5% damped linear acceleration response spectra", Earthq. Spectra, 30(3), 1087-1115.
  18. CEUS-SSC (Central and Eastern United States Seismic Source Characterization for Nuclear Facilities), U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Department of Energy and Electric Power Research Institute, Accessed 2 January 2014
  19. Chandler, A.M. (1997), "Engineering design lessons from Kobe", Nat., 387, 227-229.
  20. Chandler, A.M. and Lam, N.T.K (2002), "Intensity attenuation relationship for the South China region and comparison with the component attenuation model", J. Asian Earth Sci., 20(7), 775-790.
  21. Chandler, A.M., Lam, N.T.K. and Tsang, H.H. (2006), "Regional and local factors in attenuation modelling: Hong Kong case study", J. Asian Earth Sci., 27(6), 892-906.
  22. Chandler, A.M., Lam, N.T.K. and Tsang, H.H. (2005), "Shear wave velocity modelling in crustal rock for seismic hazard analysis", Soil Dyn. Earthq. Eng., 25(2), 167-185.
  23. Chiou, B.S.J. and Youngs, R.R. (2014), "Update of the Chiou and Youngs NGA model for the average horizontal component of peak ground motion and response spectra", Earthq. Spectra, 30(3), 1117-1153.
  24. Cornell, C.A. (1968), "Engineering seismic risk analysis", Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 58(5), 1583-1606.
  25. Dowrick, D. (2009), Earthquake Resistant Design and Risk Reduction, 2nd Edition, Wiley, New York.
  26. Frankel, A. (1995), "Mapping seismic hazard in the central and eastern United States", Seismol. Res. Lett., 66(4), 8-21.
  27. Geoscience Australia (GA) (2012), The 2012 Australian Earthquake Hazard Map, D.R. Burbridge (ed), Geoscience Australia publication, GeoCat 74811, Canberra.
  28. Geoscience Australia (GA), Earthquakes@Geoscience Australia,, Accessed 8 September 2015.
  29. Grunthal, G. and Wahlstrom, R. (2012), "The European-Mediterranean Earthquake Catalogue (EMEC) for the last millennium", J. Seismol., doi: 10.1007/s10950-012-9302-y.
  30. Heety, E. (2011), "Variation of b-values in the earthquake frequency-magnitude distribution with depth in the intraplate regions", Int. J. Basic Appl. Sci., 11(6), 29-37.
  31. Idriss, I.M. (2014), "An NGA-West2 empirical model for estimating the horizontal spectral values generated by shallow crustal earthquakes", Earthq. Spectra, 30(3), 1155-1177.
  32. Jaiswal, K. and Sinha, R. (2006), "Probabilistic modeling of earthquake hazard in stable continental shield of the Indian Peninsula", ISET J. Earthq. Technol., 43(3), 49-64.
  33. Jaiswal, K. and Sinha, R. (2007), "Spatial variation of maximum considered and design basis earthquakes in Peninsular India", Curr. Sci., 92(5), 639-645
  34. Kafka, A.L. (2007), "Does seismicity delineate zones where future large earthquakes are likely to occur in intraplate environments", Geolog. Soc. Am. Spec. Papers, 425, 35-48.
  35. Kerr, R.A. (2011), "Seismic crystal ball proving mostly cloudy around the world", Science, 332(6032), 912-913.
  36. Kijko, A. and Graham, G. (1999), ""Parametric-historic" procedure for probabilistic seismic hazard analysis-Part II: assessment of seismic hazard at specified site", Pure Appl. Geophys., 154(1), 1-22.
  37. Lam, N.T.K., Tsang, H.H., Lumantarna, E. and Wilson, J.L. (2015), "An alternative probabilistic seismic hazard assessment method in areas of low-to-moderate seismicity", Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Earthquakes and Structures, Incheon, Korea, August, 2015.
  38. Lam, N.T.K., Wilson, J.L. and Tsang, H.H. (2010), Modelling Earthquake Ground Motions By Stochastic Methods, Stochastic Control, SCIYO Publisher, Chapter 23: 475-492.
  39. Lam, N.T.K., Wilson, J.L., Chandler, A.M. and Hutchinson G. (2000), "Response spectral relationship for rock sites derived from the component attenuation model", Earthq. Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 29(10), 1457-89.<1457::AID-EQE969>3.0.CO;2-Q
  40. Lam, N.T.K., Sinadinovski, C., Koo, R.C.H. and Wilson, J.L. (2003), "Peak Ground Velocity modelling for Australian intraplate earthquakes", J. Seismol. Earthq. Eng., 5(2), 11-22.
  41. Lam, N.T.K., Asten, M., Roberts, J., Venkatesan, S., Wilson, J.L., Chandler, A.M. and Tsang, H.H. (2006), "Generic approach for modelling earthquake hazard", Invited paper, J. Adv. Struct. Eng., 9(1), 67-82.
  42. Leonard, M., Robinson, D., Allen, T., Schneider, J., Clark, D., Dhu, T. and Burbridge, D. (2007), "Toward a better model of earthquake hazard in Australia", Geolog. Soc. Am. Spec. Papers, 425, 263-283.
  43. Lumantarna, E., Wilson, J.L. and Lam, N.T.K. (2012), "Bi-linear displacement response spectrum model for engineering applications in low and moderate seismicity regions", Soil Dyn. Earthq. Eng., 43, 85-96.
  44. McCalpin, J.P. (2009), Earthquake magnitude scales, In: McCalpin J.P. (ed.) Paleoseismology, Elsevier, London, pp. 1-3. Accessed 9 January 2014.
  45. McGuire, R.K. (1976), FORTRAN program for Seismic Risk Analysis, U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 76-67
  46. McGuire, R.K. (1993), "Computations of seismic hazard", Ann. Geofis., 36,181-200.
  47. National Disaster Manager Authority (NDMA) (2011), Development of probabilistic seismic hazard map of India. Technical Report, National Disaster Management Authority Government of India, New Delhi.
  48. Ogweno, L.P. and Cramer, C.H. (2014) "Comparing the CENA GMPEs Using NGA-East Ground Motion Database", Seismol. Res. Lett., 85 (6), 1377-1393.
  49. Okal, E.A. and Sweet, J.R. (2007), "Frequency-size distributions for intraplate earthquakes", Geolog. Soc. Am. Spec. Papers, 425, 59-71.
  50. Pacific Earthquake Engineering Center (2015), NGA-East: median ground-motion models for the Central and Eastern North America Region, PEER Report No. 2015/04, Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkeley.
  51. Pappin J.W., Yim P.H.I. and Koo C.H.R (2011), "An approach for seismic design in Malaysia following the principles of Eurocode 8", IEM Jurutera Magazine, Oct 2011, 22-28.
  52. Schorlemmer, D., Weimer, S. and Wyss, M. (2005), "Variations in earthquake size distribution across different stress regimes", Nature, 437(7058), 539-542.
  53. Silva, W.J., Gregor, N. and Darragh, R.B. (2002), "Development of regional hard rock attenuation relations for central and eastern North America", Report to Pacific Engineering and Analysis, El Centro, C.A.
  54. Stein, S. and Newman, A. (2004), "Characteristic and uncharacteristic earthquakes as possible artifacts: applications to the New Madrid and Wabash seismic zones", Seismol. Res. Lett., 75(2), 170-184.
  55. Stein, S., Geller, R.J. and Liu, M. (2011), "Bad assumptions or bad luck: Why earthquake hazard maps need objective testing", Seismol. Res. Lett., 82(5), 623-626.
  56. Swafford, L. and Stein, S. (2007), "Limitations of the short earthquake record for seismicity and seismic hazard studies", In: Continental Intraplate Earthquakes, Geolog. Soc. Am. Spec. Papers, 425, 49-58.
  57. Tsang, H.H and Chandler, A.M. (2006), "Site-specific probabilistic seismic-hazard assessment: direct amplitude-based approach", Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 96(2), 392-403.
  58. Tsang, H.H. (2008), "Lessons Learnt from the 512 Wenchuan Earthquake: Perception of Seismic Risks", Proceedings of the Australian Earthquake Engineering Conference, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, November 21-23, 2008.
  59. Tsang, H.H., Sheikh, N. and Lam, N.T.K. (2010), "Regional differences in attenuation modelling for eastern China", J. Asian Earth Sci., 39(5), 451-459.
  60. Tsang, H.H. (2011), "Should we design buildings for lower-probability earthquake motion?", Nat. Haz., 58(3), 853-857.
  61. Tsang, H.H., Yaghmaei-Sabegh, S., Anbazhagan, P. and Sheikh, M.N. (2011), "A checking method for probabilistic seismic-hazard assessment: case studies on three cities", Nat. Haz., 58(1), 67-84.
  62. Venkatesan, S., Wepitiya-Gamage, J.P., Lam, N.T.K. and Lumantarna, E. (2015), "A hybrid probabilistic seismic hazard analysis of a low and moderate seismic region: Sri Lanka - a case study", Proceedings of the Tenth Pacific Conference on Earthquake Engineering Building an Earthquake-Resilient Pacific, 6-8 November 2015, Sydney, Australia.
  63. Wyss, M., Nekrasova, A. and Kossobokov, V. (2012), "Errors in expected human losses due to incorrect seismic hazard estimates", Nat. Haz., 62(3), 927-935.
  64. Yaghmaei-Sabegh, S and Lam, N.T.K. (2010), "Ground motion modelling in Tehran based on the stochastic method", Soil Dyn. Earthq. Eng., 30(7), 525-535.

Cited by

  1. A semi-probabilistic procedure for developing societal risk function vol.92, pp.2, 2018,